Despite UTC's disappointing 5-6 football season this past fall that resulted in lower attendance at Finley Stadium, the Stadium Corp. has $38,000 more in surplus compared to this time last year.
A mild winter has caused a sizable reduction in utility expenses, and both Stadium Corp. chairman Bryan Patten and executive director Merrill Eckstein believe a balanced budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year is still possible. The Stadium Corp. no longer receives $60,000 from the city, so there is still $22,000 that needs to be trimmed from now until June 30.
"It's shaping up to be a stable, solid year," board member Gordon Davenport said. "It's the kiss of death to start talking that way, but no drama is good."
Said Rickie Pierce: "In light of losing $60,000, I think this is very commendable."
The Stadium Corp. discussed its budget in today's scheduled meeting, as well as a desire to establish Finley as a better-late-than-never entertainment venue. Patten traveled to Frisco, Texas, in December to visit Pizza Hut Park, which not only houses professional soccer and the Football Championship Subdivision title game but can be configured to seat as many as 32,500 for concert acts such as Kenny Chesney, George Strait and Jimmy Buffett.
Eckstein has 206 events scheduled so far on Finley Stadium's 2012 calendar, which will include five UTC home football games later this year as well as Baylor-McCallie and Brainerd-Tyner high school matchups.
For more information, read Wednesday's Times Free Press